Famous 19th Century French Artists & Painters

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century French Painters, including Claude Monet, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne.
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 1 
Claude Monet
(French Painter and Founder of 'Impressionism')
Claude Monet
13
Birthdate: November 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 5, 1926

Claude Monet was a French painter. The founder of French Impressionist painting, Monet's painting Impression, soleil levant gave rise to the term Impressionism. Often dubbed the driving force behind Impressionism, Monet mastered the art of painting the same scene several times so as to capture the changing of the light. Since his death, his paintings have sold for record prices.

 2 
Henri Matisse
(French Visual Artist Known for His Paintings: ‘Woman with a Hat’, 'The Dance', and 'Red Room’)
Henri Matisse
9
Birthdate: December 31, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
Died: November 3, 1954

Henri Matisse was a French artist. Although he was known for his skills as a painter, Matisse was also a renowned sculptor, printmaker, and draughtsman. Along with Picasso, Matisse is regarded as one of the artists who contributed immensely to the revolutionary developments in visual arts. His works also influenced other painters who would adopt a technique called intense colorism.

 3 
Paul Gauguin
(French Post-Impressionist Artist)
Paul Gauguin
13
Birthdate: June 7, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 8, 1903
French Post-Impressionist artist, sculptor, and writer Paul Gauguin was a major figure in the Symbolist movement. He had worked as a stockbroker and businessman before gaining fame as an artist. He influenced the French avant-garde and modern artists such as Pablo Picasso and also led the way for Primitivism.
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 4 
Paul Cezanne
(French Artist and Post-Impressionist Painter)
Paul Cezanne
6
Birthdate: January 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: October 22, 1906

French artist Paul Cézanne was a prominent Post-Impressionist painter and influenced much of the early-20th-century movement known as Cubism. Some of his notable works include The Card Players, The Bathers, and Pyramid of Skulls. He experimented with water colors and had created a host of still-life paintings.

 5 
Edgar Degas
(French Impressionist Artist Best Known for His Pastel Drawings and Oil Paintings)
Edgar Degas
7
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 27, 1917

French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas is best remembered for his oil paintings and pastel drawings and for his signature use of dancers and bathing women as themes in his works such as Fin d'Arabesque and Woman in a Tub. He had also experimented with bronze sculptures and called himself a realist.

 6 
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
(French Impressionist Painter)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
5
Birthdate: February 25, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limoges, France
Died: December 3, 1919

French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, father of actor Pierre Renoir and director Jean Renoir, was a key Impressionist painter. His best-known works include The Swing, Diana, and Seated Girl. He was known for his use of vibrant colors and feminine sensuality in his works. He also painted landscapes and portraits.

 7 
Édouard Manet
(French Modernist Painter Known for His Work ‘The Luncheon on the Grass’ and ‘Olympia’)
Édouard Manet
6
Birthdate: January 23, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, Francece
Died: April 30, 1883

Édouard Manet was a French painter who played a key role in the transition to Impressionism from Realism in the 19th-century. Manet was one of the first artists from his generation to paint modern life. His early masterworks, such as Olympia, served as rallying points for young and aspiring impressionist painters. His works continue to influence painters around the world.

 8 
Marc Chagall
(Jewish-French Artist Who was a Pioneer of Modernism)
Marc Chagall
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lizona, Belarus
Died: March 28, 1985

Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.

 9 
Georges Seurat
(French Post-Impressionist Artist Who Devised the Painting Techniques Known as 'Chromoluminarism' and 'Pointillism')
Georges Seurat
7
Birthdate: December 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 29, 1891

A significant figure of the Post-Impressionist era, Georges Seurat depicted structured art, far removed from the free-flowing Impressionist art. Best known for techniques such as pointillism, he created masterpieces such as Bathers at Asnières. He died before his last exhibition ended, and eerily displayed an unfinished painting, Cirque.

 10 
Eugène Delacroix
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1798
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint-Maurice, France
Died: August 13, 1863

Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist who is widely regarded as the patriarch of the French Romantic school. As a muralist and painter, Delacroix's study of the optical effects of color inspired the work of the Impressionists. In fact, his work inspired a generation of impressionists.

 11 
Camille Pissarro
(Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist Painter)
Camille Pissarro
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1830
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands
Died: November 13, 1903

Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French painter best remembered for his contributions to Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. He is credited with establishing a group of 15 aspiring artists, for which he served as a pivotal figure. He was regarded as a father figure to several important painters, including Vincent Willem van Gogh.

 12 
Jacques-Louis David
5
Birthdate: August 30, 1748
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 29, 1825

Jacques-Louis David was a French painter. Widely regarded as the greatest painter of the Neoclassical era, David's works had a strong influence in France in the early-19th century. His works are often linked to the birth of Romanticism. Many of his pupils, such as Antoine-Jean Gros and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, went on to become successful and popular painters.

 13 
Gustave Courbet
(French Painter and Leader of the 19th Century Realist Movement)
Gustave Courbet
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ornans, France
Died: December 31, 1877
Born to a farmer in eastern France, Gustave Courbet was initially gearing up to study law but later deviated to art. He started by copying Spanish painters and later rebelled against Romanticism, focusing on real-life subjects around him instead and thus developing 19th-century Realism.
 14 
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
(French Sculptor and Painter Best Known for Designing the 'Statue of Liberty')
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
4
Birthdate: August 2, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colmar, France
Died: October 4, 1904

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French painter and sculptor remembered for designing the Statue of Liberty. He is also credited with designing other iconic statues like The Lion of Belfort and Marquis de Lafayette. In addition to being a sculptor, Bartholdi also played an important role in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, serving as a liaison officer to Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
4
Birthdate: August 29, 1780
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montauban, France
Died: January 14, 1867
 16 
Jean-François Millet
5
Birthdate: October 4, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gréville-Hague, La Hague, France
Died: January 20, 1875
 17 
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
(French Painter, Printmaker, and Illustrator, Known for His Work ‘At the Moulin Rouge’ and ‘La Toilette’)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
5
Birthdate: November 24, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albi, France
Died: September 9, 1901
French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the most significant figures of the Post-Impressionist period. He was also an illustrator and poster painter, who was known for his colorful depictions of cabaret from Paris's Moulin Rouge. His painting The Laundress sold for US$22.4 million at a 2005 Christie’s auction.
 18 
Camille Corot
(French Landscape and Portrait Painter)
Camille Corot
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1796
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 28, 1875

French painter Camille Corot is remembered for his landscape paintings that paved the path for the Impressionist movement. Born into a milliner’s family, Corot was a poor student and shunned his family business to learn painting at 25. His works, however, were easy to replicate and led to many forgeries.

 19 
Auguste Rodin
(French Sculptor Best Regarded as the Founder of 'Modern Sculpture')
Auguste Rodin
5
Birthdate: November 13, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 17, 1917
Initially aspiring to be a monk, Auguste Rodin found his true calling when he visited Italy and was awestruck by Michelangelo’s creations. His iconic sculptures such as The Thinker and The Age of Bronze are astoundingly life-like. He breathed magic into nudes and ballerinas made of stone and bronze.
 20 
Édouard-Henri Avril
(French Painter, Commercial Artist and Illustrator of Erotic Literature)
Édouard-Henri Avril
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1849
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Algiers, French Algeria
Died: July 28, 1928

Before he revolutionized 19th-century erotica as Paul Avril, Édouard-Henri Avril was a soldier. An injury sustained in the Franco-Prussian War cut short his military life, and he was pushed into Paris sex salons to study art. His most notable works, such as the illustrations for Fanny Hill, were largely banned.

 21 
Gustave Moreau
(French Symbolist Painter Known for His Erotic Paintings of Mythological and Religious Subjects)
Gustave Moreau
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 18, 1898

French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau is best remembered for his erotic paintings of mythological and religious figures. His works were deeply influenced by Théodore Chassériau, his teacher, and later by the Italian Renaissance. The Apparition and Jupiter and Sémélé remain two of his best-known works.

 22 
Henri Rousseau
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: September 2, 1910
 23 
Camille Claudel
(French Sculptor Known for Her Work: ‘The Waltz’ and ‘The Mature Age’)
Camille Claudel
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fère-en-Tardenois, France
Died: October 19, 1943

French sculptor Camille Claudel is also popularly known as legendary sculptor Auguste Rodin’s student, mistress, and muse. Claudel also contributed to many of Rodin’s masterpieces but never got any credit for it. After her relationship with Rodin soured, she became alienated and eventually died in an asylum.

 24 
Gustave Doré
(Artist Best Known for His Prolific Output of Wood-Engravings and Illustrated Texts)
Gustave Doré
5
Birthdate: January 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: January 23, 1883

Best known for his wood-engraving, Gustave Doré was a child prodigy who began his artwork at the tender age of 5. A master lithographer and caricaturist, he began his career with Journal pour Rire. He also worked on commissions from authors such as Cervantes, Milton, and Dante.

 25 
Marie Tussaud
(French Wax Sculpture Artist and Founder of 'Madame Tussauds', the Wax Museum in London)
Marie Tussaud
4
Birthdate: December 1, 1761
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: April 16, 1850

Marie Tussaud was a French artist and sculptor best remembered for her wax sculptures. She founded Madame Tussauds, a wax museum, in London in 1835. The museum is a major tourist attraction today. As a young girl, she learned wax modeling from doctor cum wax modeler Philippe Curtius. In the ensuing years, she became a prominent sculptor.

 26 
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
(French Academic Painter Best Known for His Works: ‘The Birth of Venus’ and ‘The Bohemian’)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: La Rochelle, France
Died: August 19, 1905

William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a French academic painter who enjoyed significant popularity in the United States and France. Renowned for his realistic genre paintings, which focused on the beauty of the female human body, Bouguereau received top prices for his paintings and numerous official honors during his lifetime. 

 27 
Louis Daguerre
4
Birthdate: November 18, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France
Died: July 10, 1851
Remembered for his invention of the daguerreotype, or the first process of photography, which could develop pictures in just 20 to 30 minutes, Louis Daguerre had humble beginnings as revenue officer and then an opera scene painter. He was also instrumental in setting up the first diorama theater.
 28 
Berthe Morisot
5
Birthdate: January 14, 1841
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bourges, France
Died: March 2, 1895
 29 
Jean-Leon Gerome
4
Birthdate: May 11, 1824
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vesoul, Haute-Saône, France
Died: January 10, 1904
 30 
Rosa Bonheur
(French Artist and Sculptor Known Best as a Painter of Animals)
Rosa Bonheur
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: May 25, 1899

Rosa Bonheur was a French artist and sculptor whose paintings have been preserved in popular museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée d'Orsay. An influential personality, Bonheur was widely regarded as the 19th century's most popular female painter. An open lesbian, Rosa Bonheur stood out as a groundbreaking individual both in her personal life and her career.

 31 
Théodore Géricault
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: January 26, 1824
 32 
Pierre Bonnard
(French Painter and Member of the Post-Impressionist Group of Avant-Garde Painters ‘Les Nabis’)
Pierre Bonnard
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1867
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
Died: January 23, 1947

French painter Pierre Bonnard was part of Les Nabis and later led the Intimists. Known for his love for bright colors, he painted a range of subjects, from domestic scenes to nudes, and could even paint from memory. Though a womanizer, Bonnard was married to his muse Marthe de Méligny.

 33 
Jean-Honore Fragonard
5
Birthdate: April 5, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Grasse, France
Died: August 22, 1806
Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1755
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 30, 1842
 35 
Suzanne Valadon
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bessines-sur-Gartempe, France
Died: April 7, 1938
 36 
Paul Signac
(French Neo-Impressionist Painter Who Developed the Painting Technique Called 'Pointillism')
Paul Signac
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1863
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 15, 1935

Paul Signac had initially aspired to become an architect but later deviated to painting. A major figure of the post-Impressionist period, he, along with Georges Seurat, pioneered the technique called pointillism. A sailor and an avid traveler, he mirrored the beauty of the European coasts in his works.

 37 
Alfred Sisley
(Impressionist Landscape Painter)
Alfred Sisley
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1839
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 29, 1899
 38 
Gustave Caillebotte
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 21, 1894
 39 
James Tissot
(Painter)
James Tissot
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1836
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nantes, France
Died: August 8, 1902
 40 
Aristide Maillol
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
Died: September 27, 1944

Best known for his female nude statues, Aristide Maillol had started his career as a tapestry painter. He was 40 when failing eyesight forced him to quit painting and take to sculpting. He was influenced by the French group of artists named the Nabis. Many of his artworks were later looted by the Nazis.

 41 
Francis Picabia
(French Avant-Garde Painter and Poet Who was One of the Early Major Figures of the 'Dada Movement')
Francis Picabia
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 30, 1953
Francis Picabia was a French avant-garde painter, typographist, and poet. He is best remembered for his highly abstract planar compositions, which are rich in contrasts. One of the most influential figures of the Dada movement, Francis Picabia helped popularize Dadaism in France and in the United States of America. 
 42 
Adah Isaacs Menken
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868
 43 
Alexandre Cabanel
(Former Painter, who painted historical, classical and religious subjects in the academic style)
Alexandre Cabanel
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1823
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montpellier, France
Died: January 23, 1889
 44 
Jeanne Hebuterne
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Meaux, Seine-et-Marne, French Third Republic
Died: January 26, 1920
 45 
Édouard Vuillard
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cuiseaux, Saône-et-Loire, France
Died: June 21, 1940
 46 
Odilon Redon
(Painter)
Odilon Redon
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1840
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: July 6, 1916
 47 
Maurice Utrillo
3
Birthdate: December 26, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montmartre, Paris, France
Died: November 5, 1955
 48 
Victorine Meurent
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1844
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1927
 49 
Max Jacob
(Poet)
Max Jacob
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: March 5, 1944
 50 
Paul Delaroche
(Former painter whose painstakingly realistic historical subjects made him one of the most successful academic artists of mid-19th-century France)
Paul Delaroche
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1797
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 4, 1856